It’s been far too long since I hit you with a blog post so here is Part 3 of my Inspirational Turntable Performances. I’m dedicating this post to some of my favourite freestyle scratch sessions.
Everyone’s tastes are different, but personally, scratching has never been about being the fastest, or the most technical, or the most aggressive. For me, it’s all about a balance of many styles. What impresses me most is when I see a DJ perform with control, precision, non-repetitiveness, the ability to compliment the music, and the ability to articulate everything he/she means to. It’s something that I’m constantly working on myself.
Even though the following videos are not that recent, the performances still inspire me today, and they demonstrate just how vast or unique scratching styles can be from DJ to DJ. Enjoy…
DJ R-Ash – freestyle scratch
First up, here’s a fierce freestyle session from the French ITF champion R-Ash who demonstrates tonnes of variety in his scratch vocabulary, not to mention plenty of power and interesting flows. You can clearly see that the energy and aggression of the beat is matched by his battle-like cuts. I’m particularly impressed by the balance he has between record hand control and fader hand control. Certified beast!
D-Styles freestyle in Korea
No one scratches quite like the USA’s DJ D-Styles. The legendary member of the Invisibl Skratch Piklz and Beat Junkies never fails to perform with razor sharp precision, unpredictable flows, and the unique way he adds so much swing to his cuts. This freestyle is a perfect demonstration of how much mastery and discipline he has in his scratch game – technical yet controlled, funky yet smooth, intricate yet clean. D-Styles’ scratch sessions are always a pleasure to listen to.
DJ Rafik In Tha House
Germany’s DJ Rafik shows exactly why he’s a worthy World DMC champion with a flawless scratch session. I’d consider him as one of the pioneers in a more “new school” style of cutting as he clearly shows less standard or traditional techniques and more of and off-beat style with complex patterns, and varied combos. I also love the way he drags the record at different speeds to utilise the full range of a sound which all add up to create a very unique and refreshing scratch style. Hard to believe this video was filmed back in 2004.
DJ Tigerstyle scratch routine
This next performance by the UK’s DJ Tigerstyle is not so much a freestyle but it’s so dope that I had to include it in this post! Here, the former ITF champion performs a live snippet of one of his album tracks and demonstrates exactly why many regard him as one of the most gifted scratchers in the world. Technicality, musicality, precision, speed, variety, control, articulation – it’s all here. Great tears, fader-work, and pitch manipulation of the sound too. From this angle, it’s hard to see exactly all of the techniques Tigerstyle executes but even with a better angle, I’m pretty sure I’d still be lost!
DJ Rob Bankz
Here’s another dope turntablist from Germany with a killer freestyle session on more of a funkier tip. ITF Champion Rob Bankz executes a barrage of traditional techniques (flares, crabs, chirps etc) with perfect timing and plenty of funk. I think his choice of techniques work great with the beat and his combos are packaged perfectly. I love the way he stays in complete control despite the pace of his cutting. Dope stuff indeed.
That’s all for now. Hope it inspired you!
Back soon…. 🙂